Daniele De Rossi will not join former team-mate Francesco Totti among the greatest one-club men in football history after his Roma departure was confirmed.
De Rossi has never played for a club other than the Giallorossi but the 35-year-old has indicated he will seek to play on elsewhere before aiming to become a coach.
Defensive midfielder De Rossi was part of the Italy squad that triumphed at the 2006 World Cup and he is expected to leave Serie A for the end of his playing career.
It had been widely anticipated De Rossi would see out his career with Roma, but who are some of the finest players to have only played for one club?
— OptaPaolo (@OptaPaolo) May 14, 2019
FRANCESCO TOTTI (ROMA)
De Rossi and Totti shared great years together at Roma, with the forward passing on the armband to his colleague upon his retirement. Totti, now a director at Roma who is also acting as an ambassador for Euro 2020, won a single Serie A title with the club in 2000-2001 and was a runner-up on a further nine occasions. A gifted playmaker as well as a fine goalscorer, Totti also won two Coppas Italia at the club but would surely have had more medals to show for his brilliant career had he left Roma at any point – he claimed to have turned down Real Madrid in 2004. Totti and De Rossi will both go down in history among Roma’s greats.
— UEFA EURO 2020 (@UEFAEURO) March 20, 2019
RYAN GIGGS, PAUL SCHOLES (MANCHESTER UNITED)
Wales manager Ryan Giggs was an ultimate one-club man, staying at Manchester United for the entirety of his glittering career. Giggs managed to slowly transform himself from a rapid, tricky winger into a cultured central midfielder in the latter years of his playing days, helping to extend his time on the pitch beyond 40. Giggs won an extraordinary haul of medals at Old Trafford, including 13 Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a pair of Champions League crowns. Giggs played in 632 Premier League games, scoring 109 goals, and served as assistant under Louis van Gaal following retirement after an interim spell in charge in the wake of David Moyes’ exit.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 15, 2018
Another Class of 92 graduate, Paul Scholes was a team-mate of Giggs for much of his career, although he played international football for England instead of Wales. A classy passer with an eye for spectacular strikes from distance, Scholes was occasionally under-appreciated but not by his fellow professionals. Zinedine Zidane described Scholes as “complete” and “undoubtedly the greatest midfielder of his generation”. Like Giggs, he stepped into management but only lasted a month in charge at Oldham Athletic before leaving the League Two club, who he supported as a boy.
Scholes – who came out of retirement to play again for United – and Giggs are involved at Salford City after a Class of 92 takeover of the club in 2014, with Nicky Butt, David Beckham, Gary Neville and Phil Neville also co-owners. Following their latest promotion, Salford became a Football League club for the first time this month and they will play in League Two next season.
PAOLO MALDINI, FRANCO BARESI (AC MILAN)
Paolo Maldini was, like Giggs for United, still going strong for AC Milan beyond his 40th birthday. Seven league titles and an incredible five European Cup/Champions League wins headline a litany of honours that Maldini helped marshal at San Siro, playing across their near impenetrable back four for almost 25 years. Maldini, son of another Milan legend, Cesare, is one of a select group of players who made over 1,000 appearances in all competitions during their career.
He followed in the footsteps of another legendary Italy defender who only played for Milan – Franco Baresi – who captained the Rossoneri for most of his long career at San Siro. Baresi won six Serie A titles and collected three European crowns, as well as helping Italy win the World Cup in 1982. Baresi’s brilliance was also recognised when he was a runner-up in the Ballon d’Or in 1989 and was included in the FIFA World Cup All-Star Team a year later.
💯 days, 💯 players | Paolo Maldini
— FIFA World Cup (@FIFAWorldCup) March 13, 2018
JAMIE CARRAGHER (LIVERPOOL)
Jamie Carragher was one of the great Premier League centre-backs, making 508 appearances in the competition for Liverpool. Now a pundit for Sky Sports in the UK, Carragher never won a league title with Liverpool but helped his side to a pair of FA Cups, as well as playing the full match as the Reds produced one of football’s greatest ever comebacks to fight from 3-0 down at half-time in the 2005 final of the Champions League to beat Milan on penalties in Istanbul. The England international retired in 2013.
— Premier League (@premierleague) January 28, 2016